We cats are adaptable creatures. In many forms, cats appear all over the world in a variety of ecological niches. For example, we tend to think of tigers as tropical creatures but they also live in Siberia. (The actual Siberia, not our back room.) So successful are cats that many other species emulate them, such as meerkats or the probably extinct thylacine or marsupial tiger of Australia.
This cat, however, hates the cold. Sunshine is my joy and warmth makes me purr with contentment. Rain dulls my smile and snow brings a frown to the tiger phizog. Once I am cold, it takes me a long time to warm up again. I therefore try to avoid getting cold in the first place, not always easy in our changeable climate.
The refurbishment of our flat filled me with dread but we urged them to get on with it now, instead of waiting until the warmer weather precisely because we needed the disconnected heating to be replaced. So far all has been well as the weather has been relatively mild and this is in any case a fairly warm flat, being sandwiched on both sides and above and below by other dwellings. In the last few days, however, the thermometer has shown a downward trend.
If I were a real cat as opposed to a whimsical imitation, I would enjoy the luxury of a home-grown fur coat. I sometimes envy Freya as she patiently combs and cleans hers. Cats seem to go into a pleasant dreamy state as they wash and brush up but the real pay-off is the warmth provided by this flexible garment.
I have to make do with with added layers of cloth. Thus far I have got by with a shirt and pullover, adding a jacket when venturing out but today I added a tee shirt under my usual shirt. For me, this marks the official onset of Winter. Being rather tall, I find shirts pull out of my trousers with disconcerting ease, producing a cold draught around the equatorial regions. The added tee shirt is intended to address this problem.
That is not quite the end of the the process, however. There comes that moment when the temperature drops to still lower levels when I finally put on my longjohns. This is known as Winter Proper. We are not quite there, I am glad to say, but with the inevitability of natural cycles, the moment will surely come.